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Lomachenko v Luke Campbell confirmed for London next month

The pound-for-pound kingpin will fight in the English capital for the first time as a pro.

Vasyl Lomackenko.
Vasyl Lomackenko.
Image: Joel Plummer

VASYL LOMACHENKO WILL face fellow former Olympic champion Luke Campbell at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday, 31 August, both fighters’ promoters have confirmed.

Both Lomachenko’s WBO and WBA belts will be on the line in the English capital, as will the vacant WBC strap.

In an unusual move, the Ukrainian has been permitted to fight for another organisation’s unmanned belt whereas typically he would be required to wait for a fellow champion to be crowned by that organisation before partaking in a unification bout.

Lomachenko [13-1, 10KOs], regarded by many as the pound-for-pound best on the planet, has instead been cleared to face fellow WBC title pursuer Campbell [20-2, 16KOs] — the current mandatory challenger — in a clash of 2012 Olympic gold medallists. Campbell beat Ireland’s John Joe Nevin in the London final, while Lomachenko had also previously claimed gold at Beijing 2008.

This will mark Lomachenko’s first ring appearance in London since the 2013 World Series of Boxing when he shut out Sam Maxwell over five rounds.

Vasyl Lomachenko v Roman Martinez - Boxing Lomachenko celebrates his WBO title win over Roman Martinez in 2016. Source: Li Muzi

“Vasiliy Lomachenko is a unique talent who is going to take the United Kingdom by storm,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Luke Campbell is an excellent fighter, but Lomachenko is in a class of his own. The fans on that side of the pond have wanted Lomachenko to return ever since he turned pro. It’s going to be a crazy, sold-out crowd at the O2 Arena, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Lomachenko has the crowd’s support.”

“This is a fight for history because my goal is to unify all of the belts in the lightweight division,” Lomachenko said. L

Luke Campbell is the next challenge for me on that journey. He is an excellent fighter who I remember well from the 2012 Olympics. He has a difficult style, and I cannot afford to overlook him.

“It is very special for me to fight in London. I visited last year, and the response from the people was overwhelming. They respect my fighting style and are passionate about boxing. I can’t wait to put on a great show for everyone.”

“I am thrilled to see Vasiliy Lomachenko head to the UK to meet British star Luke Campbell,” said Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Boxing chief. “Loma is simply one of the finest boxers to ever lace them up, the best fighter on the planet today and I’m honoured to be promoting his first ever pro fight in the UK. But Luke is an elite world fighter, too, and with his range, ability and heart, the Hull ace can shock the world and rip Loma’s titles from him on another epic night of boxing in the capital.”

“The best fighting the best, this is going to make one hell of a fight,” Campbell said. “I am in this sport to be the best and I am this sport to become a world champion. This is what I train and work so hard for, to become a world champion and fulfill my potential.

He is ranked number one pound-for-pound on the planet so for me to fight a guy like that only encourages me more to be the best that I can be and it is exactly the level that I want to be at. I’m well aware of how good he is and what he is capable of doing but I’m also well aware of what I can do and what I’m going to do.

“I think that I can knock out anyone that I hit right, I believe that I am one of the biggest punchers in the lightweight division. This is going to be the toughest fight of my life and I’m preparing for it, physically and mentally. This is Luke Campbell’s year, it’s my time.”

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